I am offering this idea as the milestones you will encounter on your journey through The Dead Bedroom Fix and some pieces of advice for each stage. Austin has already suggested a fairly accurate estimation (in my experience) regarding the timeframe to having your improvement recognized within your marriage.
If you’re not familiar, Austin has theorized that for every year in marriage or cohabitation, you need about 1 month of self-improvement. Yep, if you were married for 10 years and lived together for 2 prior to that, it may well take you close to a year to unfuck your situation. After this period, I can promise you that you will be a different man, and likely the sex that you were craving so badly, that led you to find the DBF, seems less and less of a critical part in your life, it has also become increasingly available – funnily enough.
Rather than discuss a timeframe, what this entry proposes are some of the milestones you can look out for along the way, and what I would recommend. This is what I have personally observed, through myself and others in the group. Let’s get started.
Milestone 1 – The Beginning. Your wife is more attractive than you.
Congratulations. You’ve started. Or you’ve thought about starting, given you’re reading this.
At the beginning, it is most likely that your wife’s value on the sexual marketplace is higher than yours. You know what the sexual marketplace is. It is self-explanatory. The values are determined on a scale of 1 to 10. You know these too. “She was a 10, bro!!!”. It is important that I am not conflating anyone’s value on the sexual marketplace with their personal value. For women, we are primarily talking about looks. For men, in my opinion, their sexual marketplace value is a combination of looks, status, money, and social skills.
You need to learn this point. Women hold a much higher standard for attractiveness than men. Men are painted as the one gender that objectifies the other, arguably true. However, we also have a much lower standard for what we consider “hawt”. For the average female, staying moderately in shape and putting in some effort towards dress, makeup, hair etc will garner plenty of male attention. Probably more than she says she wants (she is lying, otherwise, she wouldn’t bother. Watch what she does, don’t listen to what she says, remember!). If you want you want to build yourself a physique that attracts female attention, brother, you’re up for a year or maybe two to really get there. You’ll make progress and wins along the way, don’t get me wrong. But it’s a long hard road and involves lots of sweat. You’re also gifted with the testosterone that really makes the effort expenditure feel great, so get on with it.
As DSO pointed out, your wife could get laid this afternoon if she wanted. I would suggest that almost any female could create a tinder profile, and hold a sign in her profile pic that says “DTF” (that means down to fuck, in case you’ve been boringly married for as long as I have and missed that memo), and she could have her pick from a selection of men to be at her front door within an hour or two. You? Not so much cowboy. Sorry, not sorry. That’s part of the reason you’re here.
Even if you are objectively the “same” value on the sexual marketplace (say both 6 out of 10’s), your wife can get laid more easily than you. Couple this with the inflated sense of value that women have for themselves on the sexual marketplace – think of her friends reassuring her “It’s because you’ve had 2 kids! It’s so hard! You’re still a hot mumma! Any guy would be lucky to have you”. Add the fact that she could get laid as easily as she turns on a tap. She really doesn’t feel the need to put in any effort at all for a husband that is not going anywhere and has no better sexual options. Sure, she might want to bang it out when the timing and conditions are right. For example, she’s ovulating, and it also happens to be the vernal equinox, but she’s pretty comfortable. You, husband, are not going anywhere, are you? I mean, a faithful dog is not going to run away from home in hopes of finding a better dinner in another house now, is he?
Your relationship is in deep compliance with Briffault’s Law. If you’re not familiar with Briffault’s Law, Briffault was a social anthropologist who, 100 years ago, maintained the theory that “The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.” Your wife is probably running the house, has demasculinized (not usually by intention, though), and derives no benefit from sleeping with you. Ouch.
Then, all of a sudden, seemingly to her anyway, you start improving. You sign up to the gym, what’s more – you actually start going consistently. You make a concerted effort and say “no” to junk food and beer. Slowly, slowly, but undeniably, weight starts to disappear. You might need to lose 20 pounds. You might need to lose 100. That fact doesn’t matter.
You start reading some of the other recommended reading, and you are more learned and mindful. You are finding your new purpose and mission and reducing your co-dependant needy proclivities that disgust her. You’re helping around the house, and you don’t seem to come up to her like a child wanting attention after completing some chores… Dare I say it… you are becoming a better man!
So what does she do? Good question. She will likely think: “That’s great mister, but let’s see how long this fad lasts…” Cue… the shit tests! See my previous entry on this topic. Shit tests are a good thing, my friends. It means she is noticing. She notices your improvement. This is her own terrible way of acknowledging it. The problem is, you are relatively new to this learning of relationship dynamics and may not handle her test very well. I know I didn’t… That’s OK, my brother. We keep moving forward.
The other thing to work on at this phase, is to kill your neediness. Stop going over to her all the time and trying to grab her arse, hug her, kiss her, or whatever it is that you do that pisses her off. Reign it right back. Respond to affection in kind, or keep the PUA (pick up artist) ratio of 2/3 – offer her 2 pieces of affection for every 3 that she gives you. Likely, she’s not that affectionate towards you anyway though so don’t worry about that. If I strictly adhered to this rule, my wife would have thought I checked out completely (2/3 of 0 is… 0). I made an effort to let her know I was still interested in her, but didn’t expect a reciprocation of her affection. I did not do this more than once every couple of days. Ouch. I used do that shit maybe 10 times a day. Don’t let it bother you. Grabbing her arse doesn’t count as being affectionate, as fun as that is. Good ideas are a non-needy hug, arm touch, gentle shoulder rub, maybe a foot rub on the couch. If you get stiff, you’re doing it wrong. If she is flinching when you touch her, leave her alone for a few weeks and talk to a coach as soon as possible.
If you consider yourself a “nice guy”, you need to read No More Mr. Nice Guy and internalize it. If you still struggle with saying “No” and setting boundaries, you then need to read When I Say No, I Feel Guilty for the practical implementation on how to be assertive.
Milestone 2 – You are at a similar attractiveness level
You’ve kept at it consistently, and at some point, you have caught up to her real or perceived sexual marketplace value. She looks at you differently sometimes. For me, I can identify a moment when this happened.
In my example, it was a few months after I had been consistently hitting the gym. I was losing my “skinny fat” physique and was looking leaner. ‘Leaner’ is a good way of saying skinny, right? I was getting changed one morning, and she was also in the bedroom. I’ll admit, I was slowly taking my shirt off in hope that she was paying attention, and she was. She commented, “Wow babe… you’re looking great!” I thanked her and noticed her eyes lingering on me. Not quite the lip bite, but some positive attention nonetheless. I kept the flirting up, played it cool during the day (because I now knew how to do that, and not bust a nut in anticipation – pun intended), and gave her a good old-fashioned t-rex that night. It was very well received and one of the few times in my marriage that I took what I wanted like that, with uncontrolled passion.
I noticed at this stage, that affection still came and went. I was diving deep into the various teachings of the group through the podcasts, frat meetings, recommend reading, and leveling up over time. You could say I was borderline obsessive with relationship dynamics. Ostensibly, I still am. All the while consistently working on my fitness.
I still copped the shit tests, however, by now I could swat them away with ease and play the game with her. If you don’t like the word ‘game’ maybe dance is a better word. I could dance with her properly. You might see non-verbal shit tests. For example: “Hey, I bought you your favorite ice cream!” (which you can still enjoy – however, on your terms such as a cheat/re-feed day).
This is a good time to pick up a new skill, or work on a little side project. Anything that keeps your mind busy and challenges her for your attention. Keep at it.
On the subject of affection, keep up that same ratio. You’re not relaxing, and you actually never should. Always keep her affection towards you higher. 1 for 2 or 2 for 3 seems like a good ratio. The best form of affection is a long kiss. If she draws away too soon, make it a joke. The most masculine thing you can do is not to be a little bitch about it. Here’s an idea of what to do after your unsatisfying kiss:
You: “Mmmm, that was about a 4.”
You: “Yeah… a 4 out of 10. Never mind – we’ll do better next time! What? No, not now, woman, next time!”
My recommended reading at this stage is Masculine in Relationship and Practical Female Psychology. You will learn more and more about female nature and the polarity that you need to maintain in a long-term relationship and have probably lacked.
Milestone 3 – You are now more attractive than your wife
Once you are reasonably satisfied with your physique, you need to update your wardrobe, if you haven’t already. It is likely that you are now earning more money. Self-improvement has a way of touching all areas of your life. Spend a little of it on yourself and buy the best quality clothing that you can afford. Personally, I always dress one level above what the occasion demands. What would you rather be – the average dressed man in the room, or one of the best dressed?
Figure out how to best maximize what looks you’ve been given. Balding like me? Trim that shit down. Going bald is something that happens to you. Being bald is a choice you make. Control the outcome.
You’re not comparing yourself against being a 10 like, say, Chris Hemsworth. You are trying to look like the best version of you. 10/10 for you. Do you get your hair cut once a month and feel good when you do? Cut it once every 3 or 2 weeks instead. Wear cologne. Try different facial hair options. Ask the frat for feedback.
Women will now notice you. If you are in a social situation and another woman decides to shit test you to see if you are “really all that”, you also handle these with amusement. You are potent. If you were single, you could likely have fun pursuing a same-night lay, if that appealed to you.
Your bros will also notice your improvement. Because it is now undeniable. The social dynamic changes from the previous phase where people might say, “Hmmm… have you lost weight?” to “WOW… you are looking fantastic!” Or, as a single mum told me the other week at a cocktail party, “You know you’re hot right? Like if you were single… you’d never be alone.” Not trying to flex here, but do you think anything like that ever used to happen to this socially awkward, skinny fat guy?
Where’s your wife? Well, she notices this too – and ideally she does something about it. She sees other women noticing you. We call this “pre-selection”. It works tremendously to your advantage now. Here’s why. Other women pre-select you as a good potential mate, because you are already married. You offer them a mystery. Chick crack. She thinks: ‘he must be a catch – someone has devoted their life to being with him! I’d like to understand that better and figure him out!’ Your wife notices other women pre-selecting you based on your own sexual marketplace value. Your wife may not even notice that your value is inflated to these other women due to your marriage status! Chick crack, as I said, and win/win for you. Doesn’t get much better.
You are the man that other men want to be, and other women want to bang. In this ideal situation, this will spike some competition anxiety, aka dread. As in, she ‘dreads’ that you might have options and do something with them due to her shitty wife behavior. Now, how can she level the playing field with your new attractiveness? She might start to up her own game and hit the gym. That is hard work though. Likely, she will start to sexually satisfy you. This is doubly good for her – she’s attracted now to you anyway so probably actually wants to have sex with you. If your balls are suitably emptied most of the time, you are less likely to explore opportunities with the other women that are clearly interested in you. A wife who is, objectively speaking, a 7/10 on the sexual marketplace, quickly becomes an 8 or a 9 to her husband, if she is very sexual with him regularly. She knows this. If this is you, keep your edge and don’t fall back into old habits. Keep yourself a point or two ahead of her for long-lasting success. Biology is on your side of this battle as you get older too, so exploit your advantage.
Briffault’s Law still applies. Your wife now derives some benefit from sexual association with you – it is an effort that ensures your parental investment and resources remain available for herself and her children. Previously, she was not worried about losing this availability.
Now, for the kick to the nuts. It is also possible that when you get here, she either notices and doesn’t care, or doesn’t bother to notice. This can be frustrating, and I personally stayed in this purgatory for months and months. It was almost ridiculous. I honestly felt that I could go out and realise other sexual options quite easily. It took a bit of a catalyst for my wife’s mindset to shift that I won’t go into here. Suffice to say, my belief is that I had not given her sufficient lover attention, so don’t make this mistake. This had taken about 14 months in total. I have been married for nearly 10 years, and in the relationship for nearly 15. Austin’s timeline checks out again. Clever bro he is.
If you are ready for a mind fuck, read The Way of the Superior Man by David Dieda. His work is referenced in Masculine in Relationship, and is a primary source you should review.
Milestone 4 – Healthy Talk.
Look up previous entries from Dr. Scott Gordon and the DSO for this. I strongly recommend talking to a coach, as you are entering potential “blow up the marriage” territory. You need to clearly state what your expectations are, and how you feel cheated in this marriage. That’s an intentional word from me, but work with a coach to determine what you should say. The point is, that you agreed to sexual exclusivity with this woman, with the expectation that your sexual needs will be met. She is cheating on this arrangement with you. You were a fuck up in the past sure, but you have proven that you are not anymore. Does she want to work on this marriage? Otherwise, what are you doing with your life? Be clear with what the next steps are.
Don’t jump to this stage too quickly, otherwise it does not have the impact, as you have not had the time to exemplify your new self through improvement, and she has not witnessed enough interest towards you from other women.
I can’t offer my own experience from this stage, I did have a similarly difficult conversation however, you can read my previous entries on the DBF Facebook group if you are interested. As I said earlier, talk to a coach as this is a whole topic unto itself.
Stage 5 – Distance
We have now surpassed my personal experience, so this is based on the theoretical. This is not a milestone per se, more the next logical part of the process.
You have made your intentions clear, and left no room for interpretation. Is she meeting whatever agreement you made during the talk? Hopefully she is. If not, it’s time to plan your next chapter of life my friend. Talk to a divorce lawyer. Value your assets. Consider what YOU want as part of a split. Where would you live? Make copies of valuable records. Remove any items that are personally very valuable to you and store them somewhere safe. Remove firearms. This may sound extreme, but people are capable of monstrous things and it is best to err on the side of caution.
If you are well balanced, don’t be shy flirting with other women. I wouldn’t be, and I honestly don’t think I would hold any guilt. I don’t think I would bang other women, but who am I to judge if you decide to? Easy for me to say, not having been here. Go out and have fun doing whatever you want, not neglecting your parental responsibilities of course.
This stage can last as long as you need it to, you are basically trying to salvage your life from the wreckage of being in a marriage with someone who no longer loves you. You might want to rush, you might not.
Milestone 6 – Ultimatum Time
You’ve tried. You’ve even had a talk. You’ve given it your all, and you’re not happy. This may have taken you years. Your wife has two options. The first option is to fix whatever it is that is causing your discontent. Medication, sex life, weight loss, indifference, alcoholism, whatever it is – but be clear with what you require.
What if what you require is her genuine desire, and she just doesn’t have it for you anymore? Rollo Tomassi teaches us that “negotiated desire leads to obligated compliance”. You don’t want obligated compliance, aka ‘pity sex’ all the time. Sorry bro, unless you want to keep the family together for the sake of your children (which is perfectly ok) and can live with the understanding that things will not improve with your wife; you’re onto the second option.
The second option is the divorce paperwork, that you have conveniently had your lawyer already prepare.
You might want to encourage her friends and family to be involved and influence her to the first option. You might not. The benefit of doing this is that it limits her ability to portray you as “the bad guy” so that she can play the victim – a chick favourite.
You can take solace in the knowledge that you’ve tried everything. It might be that you found this all too late, it might be that you picked a bad partner for marriage. Either way, the life you had before does not dictate the life that you will have in the future.
Milestone 7, AKA Chapter 7
Re-read chapter seven in the DBF. Read “Now What” by the DSO. Notice in Chapter 7 of the DBF that DSO promises you that you will be OK. If you are this man now, I promise you that you will be as well. Enjoy the new stage of your life.
In summary, my interpretation of the milestones of the DBF journey is as follows:
- In the beginning, your wife will be of a higher sexual market value than you.
- You match her level on the sexual marketplace.
- You have surpassed her level on the sexual marketplace. Your journey may end here.
- If you need to continue, you have a healthy talk.
- At this point, some distance is required to determine your next steps.
- If you need to continue, you deliver an ultimatum.
- If it all fails, you can begin to enjoy the next chapter in your life.
If you would like to discuss any of this, or wish to chat about anything at all, please feel free to reach out to me via the Facebook group. I have been deeply studying this topic of inter-gender dynamics for a while now, and have regular chats with many members of the group. You are all good men, actually trying, and deserve to be happy.